Jennifer Rittenhouse Marketing Program and Brand Manager Dairyland Laboratories Inc. Elroy, Wisconsin
What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I graduated in 2002 from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls with a Bachelor ofScience degree in agriculture marketing communications and a minor in animal science. During my college career, I had several valuable internships, which include working for Disney Worldwide Services in merchandise, at Lakeside Foods Inc. in agronomy and at Norflex Inc. in marketing. I recently participated in two years of a mini MBA course through the University of Dublin, Harvard Business School and Alltech.
Please describe your agricultural background.
I grew up on a fifth-generation family dairy farm in northeast Wisconsin, where I enjoyed helping feed and care for the animals, milk cows and assist in field work. I became involved in the dairy industry at a young age and was active in 4-H and the FFA, as well as exhibiting and judging cattle at the local, state and national levels. While in college, I milked cows and helped with farm work for a family dairy farm in western Wisconsin.
What territory will you cover?
Dairyland Laboratories’ customer base ranges from private individuals to some of the world’s largest and most respected agricultural companies. Their work is trusted throughout the United States, Canada and in countries worldwide; therefore, my job will be to market throughout all regions.
What are your new responsibilities?
My responsibilities include the coordination and implementation of all marketing activities, further raising the profile of the company and the services it provides, while developing and building the in-house marketing capabilities.
What previous positions have you held?
Before coming to this company, I was employed with Alltech Inc. as key account marketing manager and regional marketing manager for six and a half years. Prior to Alltech, I was a nutritionist/feed sales rep for Door County Cooperative and agronomy specialist for Lakeside Foods.
Who has made the biggest impact on your career?
So many that it is difficult to name just one! At a young age, my parents were vital in my work ethic and love for agriculture, along with my brother helping me with so many aspects of the dairy industry. Throughout college and my professional career, several managers were instrumental in showing me the business and marketing professionalism that it takes to succeed. Elizabeth Bagby at Alltech was a superb mentor and showed me how to be very savvy and professional. I always admired her expertise while being very personable.
How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
Dairy farmers depend on accurate feed and forage testing to obtain the best possible returns from feed, and that feed is the single largest input cost. By discovering the nutrient values of feedstuffs like hay, silage or small grains, and checking the quality of the total mixed rations, farmers are able to feed better rations for top performance. In addition, manure and fecal starch testing allow them the checks and balances needed to optimize production.
Why did you choose this company?
Dairyland's dedication and commitment to not only the dairy industry, but to family values, attracted me to join their team. Growing up on a family farm and now starting to raise a family on our beef farm, I know the importance and values it instills in our next generations.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
Quality and service are core values for the company, and without that a company will not succeed. I hope to build the overall brand, the same way the company built its reputation providing customers with good service and tailored solutions. I'm looking forward to being a part of the Dairyland team and supporting the company's growth strategy to enhance its strong position in the market. PD